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Spring Allergy

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Since being in Romania I’ve been dealing every year with an almost month-long period of allergy. When nature comes into abundance (and the air is filled with pollen) my body responds with disproportionate self-defense. I use faith, curiosity and loads of patience to deal with it, no medication. I am trying to signal to my body and my consciousness that everything is OK and that there is no need to respond with such intensity. I don’t use any medication. I am hoping that over the years a change will occur.

This year I arrive at my potential allergy season with a few preparations in place:

  1. I was in the midst of a continuous and quality period of practice including advances in my pranayama practices.
  2. I was in a relatively stable emotional state with less potential obstacles to effect me.
  3. I was drinking mallow tea (together with nettles and yarrow) from the day it grew enough for me to harvest, after discovering last year that it eases my breathing quite a bit.
  4. I was starting to introduce into my diet some wild weeds.

It seemed to work … there was no sign of allergy, despite plenty of flowering and pollen in the air, until the end of May. Then at the beginning of June it erupted. Though I can’t definitively correlate the two there seemed to have been a triggering event. I went out one night to a movie screening during the TIFF (Transilvania International Film Festival). It was an outdoor screening, at night (when I am usually already winding down). It was a cold night and I arrived home late at night (and the movie was the disappointing documentary about Kurt Cobain). I woke up the next morning with noticeable allergy symptoms.

It is now the end of June and the symptoms are finally winding down. The main expression of the allergy was in my breathing. My nasal passages seem to be inflamed because there is very little congestion and yet my breathing was blocked. As a result I experienced many sleepless nights. Though I was usually able, with patience and a constant flow of tea, to find some rest, there was an accumlative effect of restlessness during this period.

I quickly lost access to my on-the-mat practice. I tried holding on to it in the first days but my breath could not support a practice. Trying to practice made my breathing worst. About a week ago I started consciously sampling my breath and found that if I took a deep ujjayi breath it collapsed into coughing. Yesterday was the first time I was able to practice since this episode started. It was in the second half of the day (my morning and evening breath is still disrupted) and because of the rain I was indoors (instead of being outside working on the new deck).

My breath did NOT deteriorate into asthmatic symptoms which was a definite improvement over last year. I came close to a bit of asmathic trumpet-wheezing two or three times, but was able to softly care for and contain it so it did not escalate.

I feel there was an improvement. Next year I will try to be more caring and avoid any potential triggering events during this period of the year (which means a further increase in my already monastic tendencies). I hope my diet will continue to evolve and include more wild edibles. And I am curious to see if there is an improvement over the years.

 

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